Another Sweet Soul and Brother Suddenly Leaves Us
He was ONE of a kind. If you knew him, you knew he was special.
Many of you may not know, but Robert was a key bridge and fundamental element for OneMama’s operations within Uganda.
I am beyond sad to say that Robert Orenstein, my dear and sweet friend and Ugandan brother, has left us all too soon.
Robert was just visiting us at our house for dinner after his COVID-19 test two weeks ago. We were planning to have him over this week to read stories in the park. Then… I received the call that they found him dead the night we were planning on having him over, but… we had changed the plans and he wasn’t coming over after all.
It is extremely hard not to wonder what would have happened if we had not changed plans that night. Would he somehow still be here?
Robert was my soul brother.
Every trip to Uganda I would stay at his house in Kampala so I could work, and we would support each other’s projects. He created a school in Kampala and programs to help teach entrepreneurial programs. I honestly could have not done the OneMama work I have done the last 13 years without him. He was always this consistent family that made me giggle and feel safe in the most crazy of situations. He was the first person we told when Evan and I got married in Uganda. He was so dear to me and my connection over there.
He was the only other friend I really had that also had a project in Uganda. We could share what it was like to live in two worlds.
He has been such a part of my life these last few years. Honestly, I have no idea what life will look like without his big spirit and generous laugh in our lives…!
OneMama has lost a foundational member, and we have lost heart family!
He also leaves a sweet family in Uganda who he has not been able to get back to due to covid for many months. I am holding them all with so much light as I cannot even the imagine the hole of loss that is there. He loved his children more than anything and that generous heart was so free loving them!
I am sending so much love to my god daughter Rapha in this time too!
I really sit here crying and so sad.. there are no words and there is no way to make sense of any of it… I’m only grateful that I had so many beautiful moments with this remarkable man who was the best brother a girl could ever ask for.
I hope he is laughing his jolly laugh somewhere amazing right now…
I miss you so much my dear friend!
You will always be my KING ROBERT!
With all my love,
Siobhan “OneMama” Neilland